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Old 02-29-2016, 10:39 PM   #1
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Dash A/C

my dash a/c was not working when I bought this thing 3 years ago and never I never attempted to fix it. If I do, will it be worth the time and effort, or the money it might cost, or just run the generator and the roof tops?
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Old 02-29-2016, 11:01 PM   #2
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Deano, it depends on how long it has not worked, and the three years that you have had it, is for sure long enough to know it will cost a lot! You can check your compressor, see if it still compresses or if it is locked up. Does it still have the belt on it? It will have to be converted to 134A also! Do you know a A/C guy or have a friend that can help you out? If you take it to a shop, it will be expensive! And if they do what they should, and replace all the O-rings in all of the lines, check for leaks with dye, replace the compressor, as long as the condenser is still good, new dryer, still be well over a 1000 dls. If you are handy, and want to try to do it your self, compressor, dryer, and all the O-rings and the Freon, you will still be at 500 dls. or so. You can put a lot of gas thru the generator, for that amount, and be a lot cooler also, as the dash A/C's just keep the front cool! JMHO! Run the genny!
Rail!
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Old 03-01-2016, 05:28 PM   #3
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It's not hard but will cost some if you can't do it yourself. If the compressor is good you need to change the oil in it after you reclaim all the old refrigerant, then change the fittings to R134, change the dryer/accumulator and leak check it. Too leak check it just pull a vacuum to 20 inch of mg and ensure that it holds it for 5-10 minutes per a lb of capacity. If the vacuum holds, fill her up and enjoy. If the compressor is bad dig deep in your wallet, the last on I did on an ford f-53 was $1800 for parts and labor.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:21 PM   #4
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i have a friend down the road that has all the a/c equipment and has done many refrigerant conversions in older cars. He said he would help me/barder. Just didn't know if the dash air is much of a help when we get in the upper 80's or even the 90's
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:48 AM   #5
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i have a friend down the road that has all the a/c equipment and has done many refrigerant conversions in older cars. He said he would help me/barder. Just didn't know if the dash air is much of a help when we get in the upper 80's or even the 90's
Our dash air has never worked, and never will again. The pump was locked up tight when we bought the rv, so we use the generator and the rooftop units while traveling, and it works pretty well... at least now it does. Our rooftops run into ducts in the ceiling, and come out vents well behind the driver's area, even though the ac unit itself is right behind the drivers seat. It was difficult to keep it cool up front with this setup because there was never any air flow up front, and I often times had wished the dash ac worked. We would sometimes run a fan on the floor to blow the cool air from the back towards the front. It helped, but it was a real pain... what with the fan flopping around all the time when you hit a bump or go around a bend.

I ended up putting a register type vent right on the AC unit itself, with fins that blow towards the front of the RV, and that can be open or closed. This dumps the cold AC directly out of the unit right behind the drivers seat instead of going through the vents. We now get much better air flow, and stay much more comfortable when it's hot out.

The only downside on our rig to running the genny during travel is that the genny is up front right under my feet. It's a diesel genny, and makes quite a bit of noise and vibration. I would prefer if the genny was in the back... but then, if it was in the back, it would keep us up at night if we had to run it overnight for ac... so you take the good with the bad...

This year I am going to add one of those shrouds over the rooftop exhaust fan so that we can keep it open and running during travel or if it rains. It won't help much when it's super hot out, but it might help on cool sunny days to keep the temps down inside.

-cheers
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deano56 View Post
my dash a/c was not working when I bought this thing 3 years ago and never I never attempted to fix it. If I do, will it be worth the time and effort, or the money it might cost, or just run the generator and the roof tops?
Deano56
With the exception of 2-3 times the dash A/C has always been enough to keep us comfortable when traveling in hot weather.
However we have sometimes needed to run the propane furnace when we traveled in cold weather.
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'96 Safari, 146k miles
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Old 03-02-2016, 04:02 PM   #7
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weather

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Deano56
With the exception of 2-3 times the dash A/C has always been enough to keep us comfortable when traveling in hot weather.
However we have sometimes needed to run the propane furnace when we traveled in cold weather.
Mel
'96 Safari, 146k miles
are you traveling in the summer months where it's in the 90's?
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Old 03-02-2016, 04:07 PM   #8
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thanks for the replies, I am leaning to fixing it as long as the compressor is good. Being that my friend down the road has all the equipment (vacuum pump, gages and know how), it might be worth a stab at it. If the compressor is bad, I will take it out along with the hoses, condenser and the dual fans that block the radiator some.
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Old 03-02-2016, 04:22 PM   #9
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are you traveling in the summer months where it's in the 90's?
I often have, (most recently last September when we traveled west from Iowa to Colorado and then back east to Iowa in daytime highs of between 90 and 100 degrees F).
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Old 03-03-2016, 11:19 AM   #10
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Since our home does not have a generator have no choice but the in dash which does a great job. This is an ARA add on system in a 76 Dodge chassis. I may get flamed here with this comment but I would look into some of the other types of freons that are out there if the system was originally designed for R12. To do it correctly and get the pressures down on R134a you need a different size condenser. You should also change the expansion valve or orifice valve to a R134a valve. The oil in the system will need to work with R134a. Even after doing all that I am still not all that impressed with the cooling of most of the older systems. So far I have had good luck with some of the R12 replacement freons. Cooling as good as R12, no major cost in changing system components. I do change the dryer and flush to make sure the system is clean. This also allows me to know that the correct oil level is back in the system. Of course if there has been a failure than those repairs need to be made also. The system pressures will still be about the same as R12 ran which equals longer compressor life. Down side will be if you have to take it to a shop is they will probably not have anything but R134a. For my self that is not a problem as I do all my own work and I have 9 systems that I have to keep up and running so I always have a supply on hand. I do have 1 R134a system and it works fine also but it was designed for R134A. I have worked on mobil a/c systems since the 70's so just speaking some experience from the trenches.

I might add after looking back through a few of the early post that this motor home had sit for 20 years. When I got it going again the A/C still worked so I just recycled the R12 and install the new freon. In this case I did not change anything as they claim what I use is compatible with R12. Worked great last season for us. Not claiming it always works this way but just because it has sit for a long time does not mean it will cost large amounts of money to get it going again. Have your friend check it out for you and then make an educated decision on how to move forward.

Dennis
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Old 03-04-2016, 07:03 AM   #11
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Mine did not work when I bought it. This is my thought process to justify spending the $600 to replace the entire system:

-With no dash air you have no defroster for that giant fishbowl windshield. Driving in inclement weather could be a big problem.

-I tried running the roof air on a trip to Breaux Bridge in May. Believe it or not, cold air gets pushed to the back of the coach while moving. While everyone else was comfortable, I was "schhhweaty".

-During most months, all that is needed is the dash air to keep things comfortable. Running the genny costs more in fuel, & is noisy.

-We bought the RV to have fun, not to be uncomfortable in the South in August.

-$600 is a fraction of what we spent on the MH, so in the grand scheme...........
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Old 03-04-2016, 05:06 PM   #12
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Some people report that running the dash air uses more fuel than running the generator. I can't speak to that because I've never had the dash air working... I suppose different people have different experiences based on gas/diesel/size of rig, etc...

I do notice that our fuel economy drops from around 11 to around 10 when we run the genny to run the ac. For what it's worth...

-cheers
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Old 03-04-2016, 06:49 PM   #13
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Some people report that running the dash air uses more fuel than running the generator. I can't speak to that because I've never had the dash air working... I suppose different people have different experiences based on gas/diesel/size of rig, etc...

I do notice that our fuel economy drops from around 11 to around 10 when we run the genny to run the ac. For what it's worth...

-cheers
I would imagine the drop in fuel mileage would be the same with the compressor running under the hood, they pull a few horsepower and do make the engine work harder to maintain
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Old 03-04-2016, 06:55 PM   #14
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Since our home does not have a generator have no choice but the in dash which does a great job. This is an ARA add on system in a 76 Dodge chassis. I may get flamed here with this comment but I would look into some of the other types of freons that are out there if the system was originally designed for R12. To do it correctly and get the pressures down on R134a you need a different size condenser. You should also change the expansion valve or orifice valve to a R134a valve. The oil in the system will need to work with R134a. Even after doing all that I am still not all that impressed with the cooling of most of the older systems. So far I have had good luck with some of the R12 replacement freons. Cooling as good as R12, no major cost in changing system components. I do change the dryer and flush to make sure the system is clean. This also allows me to know that the correct oil level is back in the system. Of course if there has been a failure than those repairs need to be made also. The system pressures will still be about the same as R12 ran which equals longer compressor life. Down side will be if you have to take it to a shop is they will probably not have anything but R134a. For my self that is not a problem as I do all my own work and I have 9 systems that I have to keep up and running so I always have a supply on hand. I do have 1 R134a system and it works fine also but it was designed for R134A. I have worked on mobil a/c systems since the 70's so just speaking some experience from the trenches.

I might add after looking back through a few of the early post that this motor home had sit for 20 years. When I got it going again the A/C still worked so I just recycled the R12 and install the new freon. In this case I did not change anything as they claim what I use is compatible with R12. Worked great last season for us. Not claiming it always works this way but just because it has sit for a long time does not mean it will cost large amounts of money to get it going again. Have your friend check it out for you and then make an educated decision on how to move forward.

Dennis
Dennis, he has already told me he would just convert it over to the new type of freon, he did it to his older truck that he restored, and it blows real cold. I really don't have any idea how long since this a/c has been operational. I'm kind of getting like I want everything working the way it was, otherwise I have something that just gets by
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